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Friday, February 10, 2012

QB Career Phases

Post inspired by:

This is based on age rather than experience but I imagine the results would basically be the same.

I searched for the number of seasons with 224 or more pass attempts and a passer rating index of 110 for each age from 22 to 40. Most people are familiar with passer rating; the index is just that number adjusted for the league average; 100 is average, higher is above average, and lower is below average. The other cutoff, 224 attempts, is the minimum needed to qualify for the NFL passer rating title.

On average about 8 quarterbacks reach the mark every season. So roughly it represents the top quadrant of NFL quarterbacks.

Below there are three columns. The first is age, the second is the link (so you can explore the individual quarterbacks to accomplish these seasons), and the third is the number of quarterbacks who fit the above criteria.

22 4
23 11

You can generally see a sort of bell curve in the above numbers. The curve becomes starker if you combine the ages into groups of 3:
22-24: 32 seasons
25-27: 120 seasons
28-30: 134 seasons
31-33: 108 seasons
34-36: 67 seasons
37-40: 18 seasons

What might all this mean for current quarterbacks? I haven't looked at how individual quarterbacks age, so take these with a grain of salt.

Peyton Manning: Already thought to be on the downside due to his neck injury, he is entering his age 36 season. This could be a double whammy.

Tom Brady: Just had another great season, but next year is his age 35 season. It should not come as a total shock were he to start declining in 2012.

Eli Manning: Now with 2 Super Bowl wins, his Hall of Fame case probably relies on him being statistically consistent for the remainder of his career. He has not been so far. Next year is his age 31 season. If he were to follow the trends, he should remain effective for a few years, but 2011 may very well end up being the best season of his career.

Aaron Rodgers: 2011 will probably end up being his best season as well, but what a season it was. He should continue to produce as he is still only approaching his age 29 season.

Drew Brees: Now 33, he still should have some good seasons ahead, but he is getting up in years.

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